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Why are you asking her?
Old 07-17-2017, 01:45 PM
 
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My new grade level partner and I have been chatting back and forth over the summer. Trying to establish a solid base. During our conversations, I've offered to her help with the curriculum, centers, and even how to do guided reading (she's never done it before). She turned down my offers. I told her that if she needed me all she needed to do was call/text and I'll help her. I left it at that.

Today, my former grade level partner/friend called me and asked me why was my new grade level partner calling her with questions about all the things I offered to help her with. My friend, in turn, told her to contact me because I am better suited to answer her questions considering we'll be teaching the same grade level.

I have yet to get a text message or a phone call.

She already knows that she can come to me for help, so I am not going to sending text messages or calling her about it.

I've been getting vibes from my new partner that she doesn't trust my professional advice because of my years of experience. She is an older second-career newbie teacher and I am a younger teacher but I've been teaching much longer than her. I think she went to my friend for help because she has been teaching for over 20 years. My handful of years is no match to my friend's, but I am good at what I do. It makes me really feel inadequate that she wouldn't come to me for help.


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Age?
Old 07-17-2017, 02:35 PM
 
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Could be a lot of things. Is your former co-worker more her age? She may be insecure. She may want to act like she is bringing more to the team than she can right now. I find this sort of thing more with the really young new teachers. Good Luck to you. I would just treat her with kindness and let her come to you.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:42 PM
 
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Agreeing with catlady2b. It most likely has more to do with her feeling more secure with someone her own age.
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Asking Her
Old 07-17-2017, 02:42 PM
 
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Hmmmmm...she's missing out by not seeking your expertise. How does she have access to your grade level partner she's replacing? Is your former buddy transferring to a different grade or school? I wonder if she doesn't want to show her vulnerabilities to her new peer? If she's not trusting you because you are younger, she will probably change that attitude once school gets closer. I wonder if she's a bit intimidated? I understand why you are offended and I agree you have reached out more than to be expected, but maybe patiently give another chance when she does reach out.

That said, I'll admit I get more help from my colleagues of the past than my current partners. That's nothing against my current colleagues who are excellent teachers. Some folks are just more into collaboration than others and I go where the sharing is most enthusiastically exchanged. If u were my "partner" you might be wanting to get a new # by now.
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Response to helping your grade level partner
Old 07-17-2017, 02:59 PM
 
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Speaking from my experience as a new teacher (many years ago), I had a teacher that offered her help also. I never felt like I was treated like a colleague but rather one of her students. She would talk down to me and explain the smallest things in the longest detail when it should have been a short answer. Have you asked her what ideas she has developed so far? Or suggested some helpful websites to find neat ideas? She definitely wants to put her own spin on things and not have just another classroom that is exactly like yours. Could it be possible you are being a little too overbearing?

There are some great You tubers out there with classroom management ideas and organization ideas. Maybe suggest she should search there as well.

What about having lunch with her one day to visit and get to know her on a personal basis, without all the heavy talk about curriculum/classrooms. Or maybe have lunch and then meet up at your classrooms--ask her opinion on something in your classroom. Show her you are open to her ideas also.

Don't think this is a personal thing---just feels overwhelming to her and she needs you to be a friend/colleague that is there for her.

Teacher in TX


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Maybe
Old 07-17-2017, 05:23 PM
 
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Maybe it isn't you so much as it is that you are going to be her grade-level partner. Maybe she doesn't want to establish a relationship where you are going to be always the one with all the answers. Maybe coming from you makes it seem more like a directive. Not that you caused that. It could just be her insecurities. Try not to make anything out of it. It's about her, not you. Just keep being wonderful and collaborative and things will probably work out.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:45 PM
 
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All great possibilities from the PPs. I'm sorry, I would be annoyed by that as well. She might be trying to set the stage for a more "equal" relationship with you while connecting for mentoring with someone else who is more her age. I'm guessing it's more about her and less about you. Try not to let yourself feel like it's a reflection of what she thinks about you. As a PP, there's a good chance it's more about her own insecurities and comfort level.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:33 PM
 
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I had a very similar experience with a teacher who was new to our team. I welcomed her, let her know repeatedly that I was there if she needed anything, any advice, any help with anything, etc. I let her know she could call, email, text, etc. She never came to me or asked me anything, but she always went to one of the other teachers on our team.

It was weird and it did kind of hurt my feelings. So, I totally get where you are coming from. It feels like they don't think you are as good of a teacher as the one they are asking advice from.

Eventually I learned to shrug it off and figured that it was just less work for me.
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team dynamics
Old 07-18-2017, 04:24 AM
 
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I'm sure that she will have a million questions during the day to day stuff that will happen as school begins. I use a friend that is in another grade level as a sounding board/mentor as well because we know each other so well...she can even tell me what will work for me because she knows my teaching style. If I were to ask my own new teammates for advice, but then do things differently, it might feel like I am not valuing their advice...which is not the case. We each do things that suit us as individuals. I am now the member of the team that has been there the longest (this will be year 4 in this grade level after 11 at former grade level...I'm the one giving advice I share that we all do things differently (because we do) but we share everything so that others can pick and choose what to use/do. It might be better to make this a "team meeting" with the entire team talking about things, rather than one on one. It takes longer to go around and have everyone share ideas...but it feels better to know that we can take some and change some and that others are doing the same. Also, this allows for all (even the newbies) to have a voice in team dynamics and decisions and responsibilities.
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New Partner
Old 07-18-2017, 04:39 AM
 
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I'm sorry you're dealing with this. You have offered to help, and she has made it clear that she isn't interested in communicating with you. I would take a step back from her and wouldn't get in touch again. No doubt she'll be bugging you with questions when school starts.

Perhaps it is better not to have a close working relationship with her. Sometimes it is best, with certain people, to treat each other with respect but not be particularly close.



Last edited by travelingfar; 07-18-2017 at 04:56 AM..
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Feast or Famine
Old 07-18-2017, 06:19 AM
 
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You were so nice to offer all of your help and advice. I wish I had someone like you years ago! I'm wondering if she is going to assail you with questions and requests once school starts. I mean, you offered your help and she basically tried to go to someone else. You know she is probably going to need you once school starts when you are pretty busy.

I would just leave it alone, but when school starts, I wouldn't be overly helpful. Answer the questions, but don't put yourself out. She really missed an opportunity. I would not be happy that she went to someone else.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:49 AM
 
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Thank you for all the advice. It gives me a lot to think about. To answer a PP's question, my new grade level partner probably got my friend's number from our summer contact directory. We all get a copy of everyone's numbers when we leave for the summer.

I guess I am upset because she and I are the only two people teaching this grade level. It's kind of disheartening that she'd go to a different teacher now assigned to a different grade level. I don't want to feel like she's coming to me as a last resort because I am in close proximity when something goes wrong.

Then I would really feel used.

I don't want to feel like a Plan B or Plan C, ya know?
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Introvert?
Old 07-18-2017, 10:25 AM
 
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Just a thought. Is there a chance she is an introvert? If so, she may have to develop a relationship with you before she is comfortable talking with you on such matters. If so, and you work politely with her for a while you may see her turn into a Chatty Kathy. Introverts have a difficult time adjusting to peers. They can stand before a million kids and blab all day, but struggle with peers and superiors. Give her some time. If this is the issue, it may even take a better part of a year, but if you respect her boundaries and keep smiling she'll come around.

Or perhaps she likes to be viewed as knowledgeable and wants to impress you so you don't feel like you have to do everything for her.
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It might be
Old 07-19-2017, 08:16 AM
 
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that she was very confident in her former position and this one is a bit scary. Plus she may be intimidated by you. (Not that you are intentionally trying to do this, you appear to be glad to have the teammate,but from your post you appear very confident. The confidence is not a bad thing, but can also make her feel lesser especially if she is the type to compare herself to others. Make sense?)

Several years ago, we had a young teacher with maybe 1 to 2 years experience come to our district. We were so excited to have someone come in from another district with some new ideas and lessons to share; however, by the end of our first team meeting, he impressed upon us (the dinosaurs) the feeling that all our ideas were old - his were perfect and we should be put out to pasture. Needlesstosay it was a rough year and he wasn't on our team the next year.

So maybe you could think about what does she bring to the table... what can this new teammate to help the team? Surely something in her first career can be a plus. (Maybe she has an eye for color coordination/decor, or she has a way of writing and could be responsible for the grade level newsletter?) This way it is a give and take relationship where you both benefit.

Getting along and working together is so important. You appear to want that, so no doubt you will figure out a way to make it happen.
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